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Bringing Nature Home


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About the Author

As a child, Douglas W. Tallamy spent his summer days exploring the wild places that surrounded him, discovering a small pond filled with pollywogs, and taking great delight in watching their growth. One day, a bulldozer buried the young toads and all the other living treasures within the pond, an act that forever influenced Doug's way of thinking about nature. Tallamy is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware, where he has written more than 65 research articles and has taught insect taxonomy, behavioral ecology, and other subjects. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. Doug won the Silver Medal from the Garden Writer's Association for his book, Bringing Nature Home. In his free time, Doug enjoys photography, hiking in remote places with his wife, swimming, canoeing, and teaching young people about the importance of the life forms around them.


An informative and engaging account of the ecological interactions between plants and wildlife, this fascinating handbook explains why exotic plants can hinder and confuse native creatures, from birds and bees to larger fauna. -- Ann Lovejoy Seattle Post-Intelligencer 20071011 I want to mention how excited I am about reading Bringing Nature Home. ... I like the writing - enthusiastic and down-to-earth, as it should be. -- Elizabeth Licata Garden Rant 20071114 An eloquently written theory, offering recommendations for conservation to gardeners everywhere. Buffalo Spree 20071201 We all know where resistance to natives, reliance on pesticides, and the cult of the lawn still reign supreme: suburban America. And suburban America is where Doug Tallamy aims the passionate arguments for natives and their accompanying wildlife contained in his wonderful book. -- Elizabeth Licata Garden Rant 20071202 Filled with beautiful photographs of insects, plants, and birds and hard data presented in an easy-to-read style, 'Bringing Nature Home' will persuade all of us to take a look at what is in our own yards with an eye to how we, too, can make a difference. It has already changed me. -- Kay Charter Traverse City Record-Eagle 20071205 Makes a powerful case for native plants in our landscapes. This is a fascinating look at how importing exotic plants into your garden can negatively affect native birds, bees, and wildlife. Tallamy offers an engaging argument for the power of gardeners to contribute to maintaining biodiversity. -- Maia Eisen Tacoma East King Trailhead 20070101 A fascinating study of the trees, shrubs, and vines that feed the insects, birds, and other animals in the suburban garden. -- Anne Raver New York Times 20071206 Tallamy explains eloquently how native plant species depend on native wildlife. ... Dedicated gardeners will find his descriptions of the plants and insects (bird food) interesting. San Luis Obispo Tribune 20071221 This book not only shows how important native plants are but also how easy they can be to incorporate into a landscape plan. -- Marianne Binetti Seattle Post-Intelligencer 20071206 A book that plant lovers as well as insect lovers can enjoy. Wild Foods Forum 20080101 Tallamy builds his case with research-based facts enhanced with engaging personal stories. ... [He] offers inspirational native design ideas with a focus on creating balanced landscapes and increasing biodiversity. ... Logical and convincing, this book is an essential guide for anyone interested in increasing biodiversity in the garden. -- Deborah Smith-Fiola American Gardener 20080101 Filled with beautiful photographs of insects, plants, birds, and hard data presented in an easy-to-read style, Bringing Nature Home is a book every conservationist should read carefully. -- Kay Charter Windstar Wildlife Institute Blog 20080203 Tallamy's tome is school-in-a-book for the nursery acquisitions person, the plant aficionado, the individual looking for the most effective and sensible way to grow a natural garden and support the environment. Bloomin' News 20080301 What a delight ... to acknowledge that the voice of reason - and an eloquent one at that - has entered the fray. ... Fascinating insight that's presented in an engaging manner perfectly tuned for gardeners of every stripe. ... Worth your while. -- Felicia Parsons Northern Gardener 20080301 If you cut down the goldenrod, the wild black cherry, the milkweed and other natives, you eliminate the larvae, and starve the birds. This simple revelation about the food web - and it is an intricate web, not a chain - is the driving force in Bringing Nature Home. -- Anne Raver New York Times 20080306 With Carsonic remonstrance, Tallamy communicates a hopeful message: it's not too late to save the ecological community of fauna and the answer is as simple as replacing foreign plants with natives. -- John Bagnasco Garden Compass 20080401 This informative book delivers an important message for all gardeners: Choosing native plants fortifies birds and other wildlife and protects them from extinction. -- Jessie H. Barry Wild Bird 20080501 I rank this as the most important gardening book I've read. It's about ecology and about gardening, but it's more than that. It's both inspiring and sobering. -- Janet Allen Upstate Gardeners' Journal 20080301 Easy, thought-provoking, and stimulating to read. -- Ilene Sternberg Green Scene 20080501 Reading this book will give you a new appreciation for the natural world - and how much wild creatures need gardens that mimic the disappearing wild. -- Val Cunningham Minneapolis Star Tribune 20080611 Provides the rationale behind the use of native plants, a concept that has rapidly been gaining momentum. The impact on our environment is huge. The text makes a case for native plants and animals in a compelling and complete fashion. -- Joel M. Lerner Washington Post 20080628 People in the gardening world are calling Douglas W. Tallamy's book on native plants the next Silent Spring, Rachel Carson's 1962 book that warned of the dangers of chemical pesticides and helped launch the modern-day environmental movement. -- Bill Cary Westchester Journal News 20081107 I am reading [this] with great enjoyment. ... I am finding new ideas in his book and continued inspiration to talk about the problems and the answers. -- Judy Brinkerhoff Petaluma Argus-Courier 20081106 [A] book that opened my eyes. ... Tallamy illustrates well how gardeners have contributed greatly to tipping the environment off balance and how they are equally able to turn the trend. -- David Bare Statesville Record & Landmark 20081227 Opens our eyes to an environmental problem of staggering proportions. Fortunately, it also shows us how we can help. -- Judy Brinkerhoff Petaluma Argus-Courier 20090507 You can look at this book as a manifesto explaining why we should favor native plants, but it's much more than that. It's a plan to sustain the endangered biodiversity and even more, it's a plan to transform suburbia from an environmental liability to an environmental asset. -- Raz Godelnik Eco-Libris Blog 20090608 A delight to read and a most needed resource. -- Cheryl Cadwell Warwick Beacon (Warwick, RI) 20090723 This book will not only foster a love of the outdoors in all who read it, but also create a deeper understanding and appreciation of the intricate web of wildlife outside your door. -- Andy Bennett Cabin Life 20090901 We may not be aware that there is more to the need for natives than concern about invasive species that upset an ecosystem. According to Tallamy, a balanced ecosystem needs more insects. It is when the balance of the system is disrupted that problems arise. -- Pat Leuchtman Recorder 20081213 A call to arms. There is not much ordinary citizens can do to create large new preserves. But we can make better use of the small green spaces we have around our houses. While the situation in the United States is quite serious, Tallamy offers options that anyone with a garden, even a postage-stamp-sized one like mine, can do to help. -- Tammar Stein St. Petersburg Times 20090124 Tallamy makes such a compelling case for the importance of insects to birds that I've completely changed the way I garden. From now on, insect attractors are my first choices. -- Val Cunningham Birding Business 20081201 Illustrates well how gardeners have contributed greatly to tipping the environment off balance and how they are equally able to turn the trend. ... Plants and insects are integrally intertwined. Understanding the beauty of these relationships deepens our appreciation of our gardens and the important role we play. -- David Bare Winston-Salem Journal 20081227 The book that is going to change how gardening is conducted over the next century. Ants, Bees, Birds, Butterflies, Nature Blog 20090508 Doug Tallamy's book is a gift. It's not the kind of gift wrapped with a pink ribbon and a tiny rose tucked into the bow. It's the kind of gift that shakes you to your core and sets you on the path of healing. Your garden. Your planet. One plant at a time. Open it. -- Kathryn Hall Plant Whatever Brings You Joy 20090908 Buy, borrow, or steal this book! It is essential reading with ideas that need to become part of our understanding of how life works on this planet. Prairie Moon Nursery Blog 20090925 This is the 'it' book in certain gardening circles. It's really struck a nerve. -- Virginia A. Smith Philadelphia Inquirer 20091218 My book of choice of the year. -- Sally Cunningham Buffalo News 20091218

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